Cape Canaveral is the space hub of Florida, where Craig Technologies operates in a 160,000-square-foot facility with 2,000 pieces of equipment engineered to deliver space-age technologies in combination with old-fashioned quality and customer service. Anticipated to triple in size over the next five years, the company’s expansion will take humans where they have never gone before. Lorie Greenspan reports.
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With concentrations ranging from avionics, specialty manufacturing, testing and evaluation to precision machining and fabrication, Craig Technologies in Cape Canaveral, Fla., has a 15-year lifespan that employs decades of expertise in aerospace software development, engineering and technology. Founded by Carol Craig, the women-owned business has contracted with NASA on a number of programs and continues to vie for work that is both space- and earth-based.
Craig, with a background in engineering, worked as naval flight officer, and after an honorable discharge following a disabling knee injury, became an independent consultant in software development, which snowballed into a government contract business. From 2004-2011 Craig grew the company’s engineering/technology division, providing services support for government, and in 2011, moved into the manufacturing side of the aerospace industry.
A turn-around occurred in 2005 when Craig took over the 160,000-square-foot building and 2,000 pieces of equipment left behind when the end of the space shuttle program effectively shuttered the site operated by United Space Alliance, a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, specifically created to supply parts and services to support shuttle missions. “This facility would have been empty and the equipment put into storage,” Craig said. “I decided to take the risk to turn this into an entrepreneurial center.”
And today, for Craig, the business philosophy employed by the company is simple: “It’s all about the mission.”
The realization of Craig’s risk is the busy Aerospace & Defense Manufacturing Center (ADMC), which offers a vast array of capabilities under one roof, including:
- repair, overhaul, refurbish and completionof preventive maintenance to extend the life of mission-critical systems;
- design, prototype, manufacture and performing final acceptance testing for a wide variety of avionics and electro-mechanical systems and components;
- technical services, analysis and business support for any-sized project;
- engineering, validation and integration of software systems to match the capability of custom hardware platforms.
The company is a viable and dynamic minority-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned (SDVO), economically-disadvantaged woman-owned small business (EDWOSB), and small disadvantaged business (SDB) that has received all the crucial certifications, including ISO9001/AS9100. Craig is also compliant with ITAR, which mandates that that information and material pertaining to defense and military related technologies “may only be shared with U.S. persons unless authorization from the Department of State is received or a special exemption is used.
In addition to aerospace, Craig also supplies the Department of Defense, satellite producers, and companies in the maritime and transportation industries. Commercial customers include ATK, Boeing, Comtech Systems, GE Aviation, Lockheed Martin, Siemens Energy, Conoco Philips, to name a few on the long list of companies Craig supplies.
“This is truly a manufacturing facility, with every capability needed to supply the full life cycle of the product,” Craig said. “On the manufacturing side, we see a huge opportunity as more large companies seek to outsource. There is also huge emphasis on quality, which is culturally already a part of our company.”
“We have so much business,” she added, “it’s almost hard to keep up.”
Many Contracts Under One Roof
The company’s expertise and penchant for innovation, high quality and customer service, has enabled Craig Technologies to enter into agreements and contracts on a number of important programs.
Recently, the company contracted to provide on-site training operations support services to the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Air Warfare Center (AFSOAWC) at Hurlburt Field, Fla. During this multi-year contract, Craig will provide schedulers, security and client support administrators/functional system administrators (CSA/FSA) to assist in optimally moving SOF students through the aircrew training program and into the field. The Air Force Special Operations Air Warfare Center organizes, trains and equips Airmen required to execute global special operations.
A subcontract with Science Applications International Corp. has Craig performing work under the NASA Langley Information Technology Enhanced Services II (LITES II) contract to provide world-class information technology (IT) services at the agency’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.
Craig Technologies also was awarded a five-year, follow-on contract to support Goddard Space Flight Center Science Directorate under the Geophysics Geodynamics and Space Geodesy Support (SGT) contract. Craig is a subcontractor to SGT, Inc., on this work, which includes development of orbital data analysis strategies, geodynamic models, and software systems to study four dimensional geophysical and oceanographic processes. Craig Technologies provides scientific analysis in laser altimeter studies and ancillary satellite data analysis for cryospheric and oceanographic investigations. Craig also provides software engineering support for Goddard’s Instrument Support Facility.
Craig is currently providing support to NASA at Kennedy Space Center, Goddard Space Flight Center, Ames Research Center, Marshall Space Flight Center, and Langley Research Center.
Growth In Numbers
“Our reputation is what we are known for,” Craig said. “We take care of our employees – people like to work here, and that translates to better customer service. People know we’re reliable.” Proof of this is recognition the com- pany received in 2013 as being among Florida’s best companies to work for in 2013. “There is a manufacturing renaissance toward people-centric leadership.”
“I predict we will triple in size in manufacturing facility in next two years – we have 50 people now; I want 150 in the next two years,” Craig noted. A $45 million company, the $5 million provided by the manufacturing arm is predicted to grow to $25 million in five years, Craig said.
“Manufacturing is different than the services side, it’s more focused on product,” she added. “Companies are looking for a supplier who can give more than one capability with the shortest lead time possible by doing it all in house.”
And so, from the ground to the sky and beyond, Craig Technologies will continue to do all of this for its employees, delivering the capabilities and technologies necessary to enable its customers’ growth – as well as its own.